Chuck Pagano, the previous defensive guru of the Baltimore Ravens, had just landed his first NFL head coaching job this year in Indianapolis. Colts fans had high hopes for Pagano after seeing his defenses in Baltimore perform well. It was a new page for the Colts after legendary quarterback Peyton Manning departed.
The Colts have been a surprising success this NFL season. Experts picked them to be one of the worst teams in the league without Manning; last season, while Manning was injured, the Colts limped to a 2-14 record, tied for worst in the league.
Instead, in 2012 the Colts have achieved a 5-3 record thus far, good for second place in the AFC South division and firmly in the playoff race.
Much of this success is due to rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, who sits near the league leaders in passing yards. Pagano's defense, however, has also performed above expectations.
But as soon as Pagano's head coaching journey began, it came to a sudden halt. Last month, Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. He has been away from the team ever since, undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Pagano made his first appearance in front of the team yesterday after the Colts' crucial win over the Miami Dolphins. Looking worn from the chemotherapy, Pagano mustered up and delivered a passionately inspiring postgame speech. This video shows the full speech and powerful message behind it.